Abs Just Part of What was Missing

Today I’m totally at peace with my world. My quest for defined abs has less importance – is this due to more solid self-acceptance?

Although clean eating, exercise, and water consumption help stave off water retention, it’s still difficult to see your abs unless you have less than 14% body fat (according to Oxygen magazine). For myself, I would look like a skeleton at this body fat level; I’m just not willing to do it. So the question becomes: Is it a worthwhile goal to see your abs or should we all just be happy with some feminine “roundness?’

Belly dancing has definitely had an impact on how I view my body. As one article I read says, “Belly dancing gives the female body legitimization to be ‘round,’ in contrast to modern Western cultural preferences for flat stomachs.” (This article is no longer available.) A woman in another article described perfectly what I was feeling:

“I was first drawn to bellydance out of a nameless need. It took roughly 7 years to make some sense of what that need was, but when I did, I also found that what I was going through was fairly common among women of roughly 35 and older. At some point in our lives, many of us realize that we have been cut off from our unique nature. We then have to reclaim, and establish those lost parts of ourselves into our daily lives. The first dancers I saw seemed to have triggered something in me. I felt that this was the way to undo all the negativity I had accumulated. However, I wasn’t looking deeply enough for real change to take place. I learned how to move in that intensely feminine way that is “bellydance,” but didn’t know enough to look at why moving this way is so transforming.”[1]

Your body is beautiful the way it is, yet it is also okay to love making muscles. It’s the act of weight lifting, planning my routines, learning new techniques, and seeing what works that I love. And I want to emphasize, as I have in previous posts, that you must enjoy the quest for a hard body. It can’t be an unhealthy belief that your body is not ok the way it is. If you’re driven to lift weights, make sure it’s for the right reasons.

So as of today I’m at peace with the world (and my abs). There’s something freeing about not having to be a certain way. I hope if you read this blog you are getting a sense of what’s important in your quest for a hard body, just as I am.

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Comments

  1. Good for you! Not everyone is cut out to have a six pack! And once you achieve one, it is extremely tough to maintain. The belly dance angle is interesting because the dancers have incredibly strong abdominals while maintaining a very soft, smooth looking stomach. I recently trained with a woman who had been dancing for years, and was shocked when she jumped onto a decline bench and knocked out nearly 100 book-perfect crunches! (…when I was sure she would not be able to do more than 25 at first glance….I am glad we did not bet on it!)The various isolation techniques make the abs very strong, but very flexible. Its great exercise! Good luck with it!

    • What you say sums up the whole issue pretty much right on the money. We’re all so pressured by images in the media to have a six pack, but honestly most of us can’t maintain that or even attain it, as you say. I hope to get back into belly dancing as soon as I can find another lesson near me. It was an incredibly good workout. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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